24 Jun Fiction Nation: Where Allegiances Lie
BY ALLANA LUTA
Movies have been a part of my life ever since I was little. I’m pretty sure I watched films before I could read which is why films have a special place in my heart.
But when books I love get adapted into films, I get a little defensive as if the film industry is out to personally ruin my experience of something wonderful. And it’s not exactly unfounded. Remember The Golden Compass?
As a reader, I’ve come to accept that film adaptations will never be as good as the books. Until they are. That’s when my loyalties falter.
Have you ever watched a movie, loved it, find out it’s an adaption of a book, read the book and not like the book one bit? It’s soul-crushing! “How can the original text, the written word, the holy grail, be worse than the adaptation?” I ask myself every single time.
The first time this happened was with Memoirs of a Teenage Amnesiac (which I first mentioned here). I remember flipping through the pages and feeling confused. Why wasn’t reading this as awesome as watching it? I thought something was wrong with me. Turns out the book just really… sucked. (If any of you have read the book and seen the movie and thought otherwise, please tell me why because even after all these years I’m still reeling from the disappointment.)
What’s worse is when the trailer gets me so hyped up for the movie that I go ahead and read the books and they turn out to be awful. So awful that my anticipation for the movie completely disappears.
Related to this, I recently fell in love with this British TV series entitled Poldark, based on the series of historical novels by Winston Graham. And it. Is. BEAUTIFUL.
“Poldark returns from the American War of Independence to his beloved Cornwall to find his world in ruins: his father dead, his house wrecked and his sweetheart engaged.”—BBC
It’s tragic. Every episode brings a new challenge to the protagonists and even when they’re happy, you just know it won’t last long. So enticing, is it not? (Or at least give Aidan Turner’s smolder a chance to convince you.)
Now here comes my dilemma. The series has made me want to read the novels but I’m scared it will be vastly different. I’ve seen some comments online about how they changed certain characters’ personalities and made them much more pleasant for the modern adaptation.
Will I still read the books? Probably, but maybe only when my infatuation has run its course. By then I would be able to enjoy the novels separately from the series.
Have you experienced anything like this? I hope I’m not alone in thinking some adaptations are simply better than the books. Comment below if you think there are any books you wish you avoided and stuck with the film/TV versions instead! ☁